Despicable: Barack Obama Orders Pensions Cut Off To WWII Veterans

Once again, Barack Obama proves he is not fit to serve as commander-in-chief to our armed forces. In a continuing despicable act, Obama is refusing to honor WWII veterans who fought for our nation in it’s darkest hours.

From the McClatchy News Service:

WASHINGTON — In a strongly worded message to Congress outlining its priorities for a military spending bill, the Obama administration today said it disapproved of including money for pensions for 26 elderly members of the World War II-era Alaska Territorial Guard.

The Guardsmen are among those assigned to protect Alaska from the Japanese during World War II.

The Army decided this year to no longer count service in the Guard in calculating the military’s 20-year minimum for retirement pay, although it still counts for military benefits. As a result, their pensions were decreased in January.

An estimated 300 members are still living from the original 6,600-member unit formed in 1942 to protect Alaska, then a territory, from attack. The 26 men have enough other military service to reach the 20-year minimum for retirement pay but would lose it if the Territorial Guard service doesn’t count.

A Senate military spending bill up for a vote in the Senate allows the former Guard members count their service as part of active military duty, and it reinstates the payments.

State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year to fill the pay gap until Congress made a permanent fix, but the White House said Friday it didn’t think it was “appropriate to establish a precedent of treating service performed by a state employee as active duty for purposes of the computation of retired pay.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who along with Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, sponsored the fix, called the administration move “deeply disappointing, bordering on insensitive.” The legislation honors 26 elderly Native people who are the few remaining survivors of a military unit that served the country with valor, Murkowski said.

“The administration’s justification, which is that the legislation will set the precedent of treating service as a state employee as federal service, defies logic and history,” she said in a statement. “Sixty-two years after the Territorial Guard was disbanded, the Obama administration minimizes the contribution of this gallant unit to America’s success in World War II by calling its service ‘state service.’ “

This is beyond the pale, and just shows Obama’s continual disregard for what has made America the greatest nation on earth. To diminish these brave Alaska Natives as “state employees” is to diminish all of the brave men and women who served their nation in all sorts of ways during WWI.

For those that don’t know, the Japanese attacked and invaded Alaska’s Aleutian Islands at the same time the battle of Midway was about to take place. It was part diversion, part payback for Doolittle’s bombing of Tokyo.

Above: Japanese bombing of Dutch Harbor, 4 June 1942…

Historical Photo – Public Domain: Naval Historical Center

Department of the United States Navy

Above: Japanese transport burning after U.S. air attack on Kiska Harbor, 18 June 1942…

Historical Photo – Public Domain; Naval Historical Center

Department of the United States Navy

This was a tragic bit of history for Alaskans, more of which you can read here and here.

From Wikipedia:

The Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) or Eskimo Scouts was a military reserve force component of the US Army, organized in 1942 in response to attacks on American soil in Hawaii and Alaska by Japan during World War II. The ATG operated until 1947. 6,368 volunteers who served without pay were enrolled from 107 communities throughout Alaska in addition to a paid staff of 21, according to an official roster.

The ATG brought together for the first time into a joint effort members of these ethnic groups: Aleut, Athabaskan, European American, Inupiaq, Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Yupik, and most likely others. In later years, all members of some native units scored expert sharpshooter rankings. Among the 27 or more women members were at least one whose riflery skills exceeded the men. The ages of members at enrollment ranged from 80 years old to as young as twelve. (both extremes occurring mostly in sparsely populated areas)

Two things stick out in my mind. One, these 6,368 Alaskan Territorial Guards, of which the 26 men being denied by Barack Obama are part of, served their nation during war time, for NO PAY.

Second, the situation was so dire that old men and children all pitched in.

You can read more here.

Another historic perspective can be read here:

The Alaska Territorial Guard: A Debt of Honor Unpaid. As this article points out towards the end:

In 2000, largely due to efforts by former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens, a bill was signed into law ordering the Secretary of Defense to issue Honorable Discharges to all members of the Alaska Territorial Guard. The bill was intended to repay the debt of honor we as a nation owe these people, these Americans, and provided many of the surviving members (now in their 80’s and many living far below the poverty line) with retirement pay and survivor’s benefits and medial care.

However history views Ted Stevens it must be noted that he was largely responsible for righting a dishonorable and inexcusable injustice. However, the story of the ATG doesn’t end there – most of the elderly surviving members of the ATG live in remote and inaccessible locations. Finding them was long and difficult.

In 2003 Colonel Bob Goodman USA(ret), undertook the effort to find and assist the remaining members of the ATG, at first funded by the state and later out of his own pocket. So far he and his people have located over 150 former members of the ATG, and they estimate there are several hundred more – and they continue their efforts to this very day.

Many of those located in the last five years have since died of old age. For those who remain, the benefits provided aren’t much, some medical care and a couple hundred dollars a month, but for folks who now live far below the poverty line in villages where gasoline costs more than $10 per gallon – those benefits mean the difference between life and death.

Those benefits, that mere pittance in retirement pay, would seem to be the least we can do for those forgotten veterans of that long ago conflict.

It would seem to be the very least we could do.

But it’s not.

It turns out we could actually do less.

It turns out that the Army could suddenly decide, say yesterday in fact, to reinterpret the law to read that these men and women of the Alaska Territorial Guard, these men and woman who came to defend our nation in its time of need, these men and women who fought bravely for a flag not even their own, who built the roads and the airfields and the hospitals and the bridges and who rescued downed airmen and stranded sailors and braved the cold and the isolation and the horror of war – these men and women – are not, in fact, entitled to even that small effort.

That’s right. The Army has decided to cut off retirement pay for the twenty-six surviving members of the ATG. Twenty-six, and applications from thirty-seven more identified by Colonel Bob Goodwin and his people have been suspended. Apparently we can not afford to take care of even this small handful of people, this small handful of veterans, this small handful of Alaskans, this small handful of Americans.

However, in a good hearted move, the Army will not seek to recoup past payments.

Big of them, wouldn’t you say?

It goes without saying that this issue has been boiling for some time. Senator Stevens indeed had worked to get these brave WWII veterans, these brave Native Americans, their due.

In what some might say was odd timing, or Chicago style politics, just two days after Barack Obama had taken the Oath of Office as Commander-In-Chief, ABC News reported:

The Army has decided to cut off retirement pay for veterans of a largely Native militia formed to guard the territory of Alaska from the threat of Japanese attack during World War II.

The change means 26 surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard — most in their 80s and long retired — will lose as much as $557 in monthly retirement pay, a state veterans officer said Thursday. The payments end Feb. 1.

Applications for retirement pay from 37 others have been suspended.

The state is pursuing a remedy for “these brave Alaskans, who did so much for the cause of freedom during a time of great national peril,” Gov. Sarah Palin said.

The action comes almost a decade after Congress passed a law qualifying time served in the unpaid guard as active federal service. The Army agreed in 2004 to grant official military discharge certificates to members or their survivors.

An Army official said the law was misinterpreted. The law applies to military benefits, including medical benefits, but not retirement pay, said Lt. Col. Richard McNorton, with the Army’s human resources command in Alexandria, Va.

“The focus is to follow the law,” he said. “We can’t choose whether to follow the law.”

The Army doesn’t intend to seek to recoup past pay, he said.

About 300 members are still living from the original 6,600-member unit called up from 1942 to 1947 to scout patrols, build military airstrips and perform other duties. But only a fraction had enough other military service to reach the 20-year requirement for retirement pay.

Among those who did is 88-year-old Paul Kiunya in the western Alaska village of Kipnuk. Kiunya was 16 when he joined the territorial guard and worked in communications, reporting by radio any unusual noises or the direction of aircraft, including some Japanese planes he spotted.

“We did not get one cent being in the territorial guard,” he said. “And we worked hard.”

Kiunya — who later put in 22 years in the National Guard and another decade in the Guard reserves — will lose more than $358 a month in his retirement package because of the Army’s decision. With gasoline in his village at almost $10 a gallon, that’s a huge amount to lose.

For her part, Governor Sarah Palin, in her role as Commander-in-Chief of the Alaska Defense Force, the modern day equivalent to the Territorial Guard, signed SB 89 which funded, these pensions until 2010.

For those that don’t know, the Alaska Defense Force is a federally recognized state militia, that trains as an auxiliary police force, as well as a military defense force, and is part of Homeland Security’s readiness plan, and is under the command of the Governor of Alaska.

This situation is incredibly disturbing. All indications are these brave WWII veterans served Alaska and the nation with honor. To purposely cut these aged men off, in the twilight of their lives, goes against everything America stands for. In fact, as this cuts off not only a substantial part of their paycheck, but other benefits, such as medical, one might even say this is sort of a death panel, especially knowing that winter is coming, and heating fuel is quite expensive in Alaska.

I can’t speculate what makes Barack Obama such a heartless and cruel man. I do know that once again, Obama’s radical, communist upbringing has shown it’s self front and center. Obama must really hate America, and Americans to pull a stunt like this.

Obama should be ashamed of himself, but I fear that is an emotion he is incapable of.

What can you do?

You can call your Senators and Congressmen and tell them that this dog just don’t hunt! Tell them cutting off pay to these brave WWII veterans is inhumane and un-American. Our veterans deserve better.

You can also call Barack Obama at the White House: (202) 456-1414

Tell Obama this cannot stand. Tell Obama this will not stand!

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33 Comments

Filed under In The News, Politics

33 responses to “Despicable: Barack Obama Orders Pensions Cut Off To WWII Veterans

  1. FreedomGal

    I stay pretty much on top of most news stories on a daily basis through tv, newspapers and internet. HOW DID I MISS THIS ONE? Did the media anywhere cover this story. Or did they cover it in a 5 second soundbite? I am matter than a hornet after reading this article. You can be sure I will stay on top of this with my Senators and the White House too as I have nothing to lose since I am pretty sure I am already on the White House ‘Watch’ List. They will never shut me up. Thanks for putting this out there. Had I not come to this site I probably would still not be aware of this. This President is too dangerous and too ignorant of what America is and what Americans want. He needs to find another country that is the absolute opposite of ours to control. It will NOT happen in a country where citizens don’t hesitate at any age to protect both DOMESTICALLY and foreign ALL ENEMIES! I will do my very best to inform others in my local papers and get these brave men and women what we owe them. And even that would NOT be enough in my book. Thank you to ALL these men, women and children who stood up for freedom in Alaska.

  2. We do not cut off our veterans pensions. As long as they have been receiving them they should continue to. Unbelievable!

    The History Man
    http://wwwhistoryman.blogspot.com/

  3. Art Araya

    I would be willing to contribute what I can to a fund that would make these heroes financially whole. If enough of us do a little bit, it can add up to a lot. Who will join me?

  4. DANO

    How”s the change working for you now? Watch this guy he”s going to start another world war. Acorn can have him back in 2012.

  5. Davd

    If anybody’s pension should be denied, it’s Obama’s when he’s finally kicked out into the street by an angry America. There’s a name for people like Obama, but I can’t use it here.

  6. SEANTE

    IMPEACH HIM!
    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

    • carole

      I AGREE W/ SEANTE —I HAVE BEEN CALLING -E-MAILING AND FAXING ANYONE AND EVERYONE ABOUT THESE UN-AMERICAN ISSUES OF THIS WHOLE ADMINISTRATION–EVERY DAY W/OUT FAIL HE IS ANNOUNCING SOME NEW C**P. TODAY IN NEW YORK THE EMPIRE STATE BLDG IS GOING TO BE LITE UP IN RED AND YELLOW–FOR THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHINA BECOMING “COMMUNIST”.MY HEART TELLS ME THAT “THE POWERS THAT BE ” REQUESTED IT –PROPERTY IS OWNED AND MANAGED BY W & H PROPERTIES# 212-736–3100

  7. Revenge is mine saith the Lord. Here I pray God’s revenge does not have to wait until the day of Judgement. There are no Christians principles in Obama and he’s a repugnant excuse for a American or as a man.

  8. You know I agree with many of the posted somments for once, Enough is Enough! how can he deny these aging or aged brave WWII veterans there right, especially at their age and there are so little of WWII Vets left! its easy to deny something to someone when you dont understand or need it, him having never served in any branch or taken the time to talk to Vets, last time he was around the military or spoke to them instead of to them was when he needed their vote! Im an Iraq and Afganistan Marine Veteran, I had heard about this story from a WWII Vet in a wheelchair in the elevator but didnt believe it. The president surely needs some advisors to point out to him the errors of his way….QUICK hopefully this decision and others like it will lead to him not being reelected or better yet IMPEACHMENT

  9. West

    Since it is Alaska could it be they are picking on these men because it is Alaska and just another shot at giving them hard time because Palin is from there- with this administration it is not hard to think that
    The left under this administration feels it can stoop to anything that might distract people from going after their bad ideas. Some how doubt the money involved in this is that big considering what they have thrown away, wasted and spent increasing the deficit till now

  10. jj

    This is outrageous. They should cut Obama’s pay and that of everyone that had anything to do with this. I was a small boy during WW2 but I remember my Father working in a shipyard and my Mother in a meatpacking plant all thru the war.I remember my 2 uncles being drafted off the cotton farm in Texas and going off to fight the Japanese. These men deserve much better than this. I hope everyone that voted for this idiot gets what they deserve.Tenfold!

  11. Juli

    Service in the national guard is counted toward the 20 years. the territorial guard should be no different.

  12. Decindra

    Stop complaining walk the talk !!!!! Do something please somebody, I love this country I’m scared it will be no more, what and how can we stop it??? Who will it be next? He works for us WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. What do you expect from a man who came from a Muslim father and an Atheist mother.

  13. John M., American

    What the hell to you expect from a president who is a fraud, a liar, a drug user, a pervert, fiscally irresponsible and a just plain dumb ass?

  14. ronal l. rocco

    how can they take away these benefits to these elderly citizen soldiers who have come to expect and need desperately that check in the mail to survive…

    they who are taking away know not what they do…..nor do they understand nor care of the plight they place they defenders of America in…

    i’ll bet they never served our Country on the front line facing the enemy…funny how the banks get billions and not one person goes to jail and yet a few thousand dollars to these heros are denied…now is that justice?

  15. maggie mae

    Enough of this moron. He is going to ruin this country. He’s already got a good start. He’s willing to cut these pensions which probaby don’t really account for much. But he is NOT doing anything about ACORN who robs millions from taypayers, does not say anything about Van Jones, all of a sudden runs from Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers. Who is the man really? The change and transparency were all a ploy to get elected. Anyone who voted for him should be very proud of themselves for their part in the downfall of this once great country. By the way, I didn’t like Bush either, but this guy makes Bush look like an angel.

  16. This is beyond despicable! He keeps finding ways to take from the American people while giving untold millions abroad. This is unAmerican, just like so many things he has done lately that you have been pointing out. Keep up the good work. We’re listening.

  17. martha connolly

    GLEN BECK AND BILL O’REILLY SHOULD BE NOTIFIED OF THIS OUTRAGEOUS BILL.

  18. martha connolly

    GLEN BECK AND BILL O’REILLY SHOULD BE NOTIFIED OF THIS BILL,

  19. Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂

  20. Decindra

    “no longer count service in the Guard in calculating the military’s 20-year minimum for retirement pay, although it still counts for military benefits. As a result, their pensions were decreased in January.” Truth wake up and smell the coffee. They are considered part of our military. Who will be next the National Guard??? It’s nice to divert attention like the big O does but focus on the matter. I can tell you never served your Country either birds of a feather flock together

  21. Hey very nice blog!!….I’m an instant fan, I have bookmarked you and I’ll be checking back on a regular….See ya

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  24. Phil K.

    As a former Marine (’62-’68), a reasonable conservative and a gun owner, I and several hundred thousand other vets have been declared “potential terrorists” by Homeland Security. In light of that rather disgusting proclamation, it’s not too much of a surprise that Obama and his biz-czar administration is cutting or eliminating pensions, health benefits and, apparently, anything else they can from the very people we owe so much. It’s gett’n spooky out there folks. And I would remind Mr. Obama that for those of us who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know. He just doesn’t get it. Commander-In-Chief? Would YOU share a foxhole with the guy?

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